Dining out at Applebees … what you need to know!

Hi everyone!

I wanted to take the time to put together a post that I hope will open some eyes today.   We all eat out now and then.  It’s one of life’s little pleasures, especially for working moms and dads.  It gives us a break, we don’t have to cook and clean and it gives us an opportunity to order something we may not make at home.

But what I discovered while taking on Applebee’s menu was heartbreaking, especially for those who eat out often or have kids.  MY kids ate this stuff all the time.  This was years ago while we were moving around the country a few times.  We really had no choice but to eat out, sometimes 3 times a day for 2 months!

Take a look at this:

APPETIZERS

applebees appetizer sampler plate mozzarella sticks, spinach dip, quesadillas, fried wings

This is where I was the most surpised!  We all know appetizers that are deep fried like mozzarella sticks and the like are loaded with fats but there was  NOT ONE    appetizer on the Applebees menu under 850 calories!!!!

You read that right! A minimum of 850 calories for just the appetizer!!!!!  Really?

The appetizer sampler came in at over 2300 calories and over 140 grams of fat!  But that is meant to be shared and depending on how many people are sharing it I can’t give you an exact calorie count.

I chose the Spinach and Artichoke dip as the worst offender mainly because it has a healthy ring to it.  And I know when I’ve gone out to eat before I  would steer clear of the wings or fried foods and think the Spinach dip would be a better choice.  NOT !!!!!!

I would love to provide you with a healthy appetizer, but I am sorry to say there is NO appetizer at Applebees that I can recommend.   Honestly!  Even the green beans are over 900 calories!!!!

  CALORIESFAT/SAT/TRANSSODIUM
WORST:Mozz Sticks93048/21/12640
Onion Rings129056/10/.053620
Wings123070/18/14460
Spinach/Artichoke Dip139094/26/12690
Nachos142087/34/1.53970

SALAD

applesbees crispy chicken oriental salad

There’s nothing worse to me then ruining a good nutritious salad, but Applebee’s managed to do that too!  The worst offender was the Oriental Chicken Salad with it’s astounding 98 grams of fat !!!!!   How is that even possible?   That’s worse than the steaks and cheeseburgers.

And don’t think that by asking for the chicken grilled makes a whole lot of difference because it doesn’t.  It will save you about 100 calories but adds 590 additional grams of sodium!!!  AGAIN… how is that possible?!?!?

The best salad, and I use that term loosely, is the Spinach and Berry Salad.  But again, somehow that manages to have over 30 grams of fat too!  Just sad !!!

BURGERS

applebees burger with bacon cheese crispy onion rings

The amount of fat, especially saturated fat, in burgers in restaurants is just plain deadly.   I’m sorry, but there is no other way to put it.   A small hamburger at home contains FAR less fat by choosing lower fat beef, a whole wheat bun and a little ketchup.  But the saturated fat in burgers in restaurants have been proven time and time again to be directly related to heart disease.

  CALORIESFAT/SAT/TRANSSODIUM
WORSTBourbon Burger129090/33/32510
Quesadilla Burger1400105/45/3.53260
Philly Burger103063/27/32570
BESTHamburger79048/17/2.51220

DESSERTS

applebees blue ribbon brownie with vanilla ice cream

I just don’t even know what to say after doing all this research on Applebee’s food.  To be perfectly honest it should come with warning labels.

Would you believe the Blue Ribbon Brownie has 1600 calories!???   1600 !!!!!!!   For a DESSERT!  I really hope you all are sharing this.  But what really leaves me speechless is the amount of fat a person can consume in just one meal at this restaurant.  This sundae also packs an unbelievable 77 grams of fat!

  CALORIESFAT/SAT/TRANSSODIUM
WORSTBlue Ribbon Brownie160077/41/2910
Choc Chip Cookie Sundae159075/47/2990
BESTBrownie Bite37017/10/0210

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550 CALORIES AND UNDER AND KIDS MEALS

applebees under 550 fish with side veggies

Aside from the fact that these meals are loaded in sodium, they are all under 500 calories and 20 grams of fat.  If you find yourself eating at Applebee’s I would recommend bypassing (pun intended) the regular menu (especially the salads!) and order off the Under 550 portion of the menu.  Everything has under 500 calories and the portions are more in line with the way we should be eating.

KIDS MENU

applebees small cheeseburger and applesauce from kids menu

I didn’t want to overlook the kids menu.

The worst offender on the kids menu, which shouldn’t surprise any of us, is the grilled cheese sandwich.  Between the white bread, the butter and cheese it’s not the healthiest choice for our kids little growing bodies.

Besides the fact it has over 550 calories, the sodium in just this meal alone is over 1400 mg!

  CALORIESFAT/SAT/TRANSSODIUM
WORSTGrilled Cheese57034/14/11430
2 mini cheeseburgers77050/182.51260
BEST4 oz sirloin1407/2.5/0410

I know firsthand how hard it is to get kids to eat healthy but I can also say from experience it does get easier and they do make better choices as long as they see YOU making good choices.

It’s very hard to convince kids they need to order the grilled chicken with broccoli while you order the 1800 calorie burger smothered in cheese, bacon and grease.

Eating out is to be enjoyed, bring family and friends together for a celebration, a birthday or just for a Friday night out.   But it doesn’t have to harm our health at the same time.

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So after reviewing the menu this is what I came up with for the BEST possible choices (and I REALLY use that term loosely):

Appetizer ~ Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Entrée ~ Spinach and Berry Salad
Drinks ~ 2 Pepsis
Dessert ~ Blondie Brownie

TOTAL:  1850 calories / 95 grams of fat / 3070 mg of sodium

AND THAT’S EATING THE ‘BEST’ CHOICES and JUST ONE MEAL.  You still have 2 other meals to scarf down that day and some snacks possibly too.

RESOURCE:
http://www.applebees.com/~/media/docs/Applebees_Nutritional_Info.pdf

 

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Comments

  1. Andy Roberts says:

    OH NO!!! Not my quesadilla burger? But they taste soooo good. I eat about one a year so it ain’t that bad. Good info.

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